Society calls them haters … people who find it socially rewarding to go after anyone with whom they disagree by criticizing, ridiculing, and trying to cancel and silence them online.
There seems to be a feeling of invisibility and anonymity when posting on social media. Do you ever wonder if half the things that get expressed online would be said directly if the individuals were standing face-to-face with each other? I know I do!
Except for the “online” part, the truth once again is that “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
Haters are going to hate. So, what should you and I do?
Well, we could start by watching what we say and intentionally and honestly pray for haters.
The writer of Psalm 123 prayed…
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy,Psalm 123:3–4
for we have had our fill of contempt.
We have had more than our fill of the scoffing of the proud
and the contempt of the arrogant.
Most would agree that haters are arrogant and full of contempt. Have you had your fill?
I know when I’ve received hateful comments it can be tempting to reply with a little fire and brimstone, to SHOUT RIDICULE IN CAPITAL LETTERS, and to complain and criticize so everyone knows just what an awful hater this person is.
Let’s take another look at what the Psalmist had to say…
I lift my eyes to You,Psalm 123:1–2
O God, enthroned in heaven.
We keep looking to the Lord our God for His mercy,
just as servants keep their eyes on their master.
I know I need God’s mercy every moment of every day. So, maybe rather than defiance and disgust our first reaction should be to lift our hearts and minds to the One who is merciful, kind, and compassionate.
Maybe we should pray for haters and release our frustrated emotions to the Lord. Maybe it would be better if we simply turned to and trusted the words of those who heard, touched, and walked with our Savior, Jesus.
We proclaim to you the One who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw Him with our own eyes and touched Him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This One who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen Him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that He is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then He was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.1 John 1:1–3
If that’s true, and I believe it is, wouldn’t it be best if we simply trusted the One who is able to give us everything we need to respectfully testify of His mercy and love? Shouldn’t we respond with kindness or not say anything at all?
Remember … it’s not you and me that they hate but Jesus who is with us and within us that they are rejecting. So, rather than keeping the fire burning by adding retaliatory comments, let’s pray for haters and trust that the God who transformed us is more than able to transform them.
Billy Graham wrote…
“You cannot pray for someone and hate them at the same time. Even if you are asking God to restrain their evil actions, you should also be praying that He will change their hearts. Only eternity will reveal the impact of our prayers for others.”
Let’s make a commitment to pray for haters, to trust God’s mercy, and to keep sharing HIS TRUTH in LOVE.
Pray for Haters and Trust God’s Mercy
Father, there really is nothing new in history. All that is happening today has happened before. Oh, technology may make it seem easier but the truth is people have struggled with hateful words and behaviors since sin entered our world.
However, it does seem like it has gotten worse in recent years, Father. Being able to shoot word darts from a keyboard sitting far away from those they will hurt feels easier than risking their reaction face to face. And for Your children, it feels like the attacks have become more frequent and more intense.
You knew it would be like this. Jesus told His followers, “Everyone will hate you because you are my followers.” (Mark 13:13) And then He added, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
Please help me endure whatever hatred comes my way, Lord. I want to pray for haters. Please give me the strength and patience I need to give every arrogant word of contempt to You. Please remind me by the power of Your Spirit to quickly lift my eyes to You and trust You to take care of it. May I keep looking to You for mercy and never stop testifying and proclaiming that You are the One and only source of eternal life.
You are all I need today, tomorrow, and always. I give myself to You my Lord and Savior. Amen.
My favorite chapter in the Bible is Jesus’ prayer in John 17. As He was about to be crucified for our sins, He paused to pray for us…
I have given them Your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.John 17:14–17
Isaiah prophesied the following about the Messiah, Jesus…
He was despised and rejected—Isaiah 53:3
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
We can trust the Lord with the hate that hurts us. He knew we would be hated for being His followers. But He is with us and He will give us the strength we need to endure until the end.
May the Lord help you and me to pause and pray for haters. May we trust His mercy and rest in His love.
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